Planning for a possible Chiefs AFC Championship game in Atlanta? Book your travel plans now.

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 10:17 PM CST
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MISSION, Kan. (KCTV) - There are still several days to go before we know if the Chiefs will make it to the AFC Championship game, but already tickets are being issued for a possible Chiefs-Bills matchup in Atlanta.

The first opportunity for season ticketholders comes on Wednesday. Payment will be refunded if the game doesn’t happen.

With the game still up in the air, dependent upon both the Chiefs and the Bills winning this weekend, should you wait until it’s certain to buy plane tickets and reserve a hotel room?

Brent Blake, President of Acendas Travel in Mission, is a Chiefs season ticket holder. He booked immediately.

“I’m a huge Chiefs fan, so I’m looking to go to Atlanta and to the Super Bowl, hopefully,” said Blake.

He said there is zero downside to booking now, because the liberal refund policies that airlines adopted during the pandemic remain in place. Hotels and rental car reservations can typically be canceled up to 24 hours in advance of your stay. Acendas agents are already getting calls from Chiefs fans.

Though Chiefs players and coaching staff are currently focused solely on Saturday’s game against the Jaguars, Blake said Chiefs administrative staff -- who use Acendas for their non-charter travel -- are already planning travel to Atlanta to scout it out early.

“If the Chiefs want to host a party, whether it be for season ticket holders or suite holders, they have to secure a venue. So, they’re looking at hotel ballroom space, they’re looking at food stations, they’re looking at beverage stations,” he explained.

On Tuesday, when release of the game tickets was announced, he had his agents check prices and availability. He said there are multiple Delta flights but as few as three seats left per flight. Chiefs fervor is just a part of that. Atlanta is a big business travel destination from KC, he noted. Plus, it’s a Delta hub with transfer flights. Still, he said getting a flight will be less difficult than dealing with hotels and rental cars.

Airlines will no doubt add extra flights if the game is a go. They will be more expensive next week, after the site of the AFC Championship game is certain, than now. But, he said the difference won’t be extreme.

Hotels are another matter. He said rooms are plentiful, but they will likely jack up prices significantly once the site becomes definite.

For rental cars, he said, the issue will be supply. That’s particularly true for fans who travel in large groups and want a van or SUV.

“Rental cars are always tight,” Blake said. “Right now, the industry is still in a recovery mode. And so, if you want to get a rental car, you better book it quickly and expect to pay higher prices than normal.”

If you’re looking ahead to the Super Bowl like he is, be warned: All bets are off for refunds that weekend. Flights, hotels, all of it. So, he advises waiting before you push the “buy” button for a trip to Phoenix. Much as he’s an optimistic fan, he won’t be buying for that until it’s for sure.